Wednesday 29 June 2011

Curly Cube

Curly Cube
I received the Curly Cube from Puzzle Master. It is rated by them as a 7 out of 10 (challenging) and comes complete with instructions (which will not be needed). It is manufactured by Bits and Pieces and is a pretty high quality construction. Originally designed by Vladimir Krasnoukhov, it is also available in a multicoloured wooden version direct from Wil Strijbos or (if you are in the UK) from Grand Illusions where it is known as the Trisected Cube.

I have to say that whilst I am partial to the wooden puzzles, I really like this cast aluminium version. It is a 48mm cube and really quite a good weight (if you drop this on your foot you will certainly know about it!)

The aim, obviously, is to take the puzzle apart and then reassemble it. It is a pure coordinate motion puzzle and separates into the component 3 pieces quite easily. Just find 2 diagonally opposite corners belonging to 1 piece and then just holding them give it a little shake and the 3 pieces start to slide apart.

Curly cube partially open
At a certain point they are separated enough to just remove one of the pieces. The other 2 can just be pulled apart now. The inside surfaces are not quite as nicely polished as the outside but are still pretty reasonably made.

Curly cube pieces
Putting it back together is basically just a 3D jigsaw puzzle - put the first 2 pieces together orientated correctly (any 2 will do) then slide them apart a little and then slot in the final piece. A little shake at this point and it all slides back to being a nice cube again.

I really don't think this is worthy of a 7 rating - I would give it a 5 (or 6 at a push). My only criticism is that each of the 3 pieces is actually made from 2 sections welded together (you can see the joins in the photo above) - it really would have been lovely if they could have been cast as a single piece. Despite this (and also despite its simplicity - no real challenge to the seasoned puzzler), I really like this one. It has a marvellous tactile nature, feels great to fiddle with and looks great on the shelf.

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